Stacey Olson
President of Chevron Appalachia

Stacey Olson has worked around the globe during her career in the oil and gas industry for Chevron, including stops in Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Venezuela.

That international exposure has given her a unique view of what makes the U.S. tech scene thrive:

“Our academic institutions are great and they help set up U.S. businesses for success,” says Olson, a Louisiana native who was named President of Chevron Appalachia in 2016. “We also have a strong rule of law, a generally predictable regulatory environment and a work ethic that helps the country succeed.”

While Olson is still somewhat new to Pittsburgh — Chevron Appalachia is based in Moon — she believes efforts to promote the region as a tech hub are “paying off.”

“Of course, we’re fortunate to have such a strong academic community,” she says. “We have some of the world’s best universities, and the value of that cannot be underestimated. … We need to retain this talent and attract more to the region.

“… There are great career opportunities in this region for people of all backgrounds, levels of education and experience. And there will be more opportunities in the future. We need to make sure our workforce capabilities match the opportunities, and that means investing in education and training. Chevron, and our partners, including the Benedum Foundation, Grable Foundation, Catalyst Connection, and the Allegheny Conference, launched the Appalachia Partnership Initiative several years ago focused on doing exactly that.”

Her advice to young professionals:

“Find a role model. For me, my role model was my mom. She is an accomplished woman who holds a computer science degree, an MBA and a JD. She served for nine years as an elected judge in Louisiana (and) showed me from a young age that I was a smart girl and I could accomplish anything I wanted.

“But your role model doesn’t have to be your mom,” she adds. “Just find someone who is going to inspire you and motivate you. I think mentors and role models help build confidence, inspiration and motivation.”

Chris Togneri

Chris Togneri is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh.